Medical bills have been reduced by almost $50,000, thanks to Liberty HealthShare.
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- After being self-employed and losing my employer-sponsored health insurance, my family and I joined Liberty HealthShare, a health sharing ministry, in 2014.
- Although Liberty has paid all of its bills on time, I have to agree that the company is a little sluggish when processing payments. Liberty is not an insurance business but rather a community of individuals who agree to split healthcare expenses.
- Liberty HealthShare has saved me more than $50,000 in five years on medical expenses.
After becoming self-employed, my husband and I had to make important life choices. Our job 401(k) plans were no longer available, so we had to find a means to prepare for retirement independently. We had to develop a solution to our health care issues. Our prior work had always provided health insurance via the company, but that was quickly ending.
This transpired within a few years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) taking form, popularly known as Obamacare. Although this was a positive thing since we could now get our health insurance, our state and county (Indiana) prices were astronomical.
Traditional insurance options for our family of four began at roughly $1,000 per month with a $12,000-plus yearly deductible in the first year we looked for insurance on the exchanges. Also, keep in mind that the Bronze plan’s pricing began there. Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans ensured that prices would continue to rise.
For what reasons did we decide to join Liberty HealthShare
We began looking at health sharing ministries like Liberty HealthShare about that time. Health care sharing ministries are not insurance but communities of individuals who pool their resources to help one other pay for healthcare.
The monthly charge for a healthcare sharing ministry is comparable to a healthcare premium. Still, once you hit an “unshared amount” equivalent to a health insurance deductible, your healthcare costs will be reimbursed. It didn’t matter if healthcare ministries were Christian in origin since it was acceptable.
Finally, we settled on Liberty HealthShare after a lot of research. We believed Liberty had stringent minor requirements when it came to religious engagement, mainly because at least one sharing ministry required you to receive a letter from your church pastor. To join Liberty HealthShare, you don’t have to attend church, but you must subscribe to an introductory “statement of beliefs” that indicates a certain degree of dedication to God.
The following are some of Liberty HealthShare’s apparent advantages:
- When we first joined, we paid $449 a month for our family, which is currently $499 a month.
- Out-of-pocket expenses for a family of four used to be $1,500, but that figure has now been increased to $2,250.
- Expenses up to $1,000,000 per occurrence are eligible for sharing.
Our out-of-pocket payments would be significantly reduced if our yearly out-of-pocket sharing limit was fulfilled by joining Liberty HealthShare. After a lot of serious thought and contemplation, that’s what we did.
After more than five years at Liberty, I’m satisfied with our progress so far. As previously said, costs have risen somewhat throughout our time in the program, but this is expected in the healthcare industry.
Here are a few of my opinions on what has worked and what hasn’t worked out so well.
Our Liberty HealthShare claims were reimbursed in full once we submitted them.
Many individuals worry that healthcare sharing ministries won’t be able to cover their medical expenses when they arise. In the last several years, we’ve had a couple of prominent claims (one for $10,000+ and another when my daughter fractured her arm), and both were covered in full after I paid my yearly unshared sum.
You may either pay the bills yourself and then be reimbursed by Liberty, or you can have your supplier send the invoices straight to Liberty to be born there. If you want to view a different provider, you don’t have to go via a particular network.
Liberty may take some time to pay its debts.
There’s some awful news in store for you. Liberty has a reputation for being late in paying its debts. In July of last year, I had to wait seven months after my daughter fractured her arm before she was reimbursed for the hospital and surgical expenses. Liberty dragged its heels a little bit since it took so long for the providers to send the invoices.
Abortion, contraception, transgender treatment and surgery, dental and eye care, mental health services, infertility treatment, and treatment for alcohol and drug addiction are among the treatments and services that Liberty will not cover. Those considering signing up should be aware of these exclusions.
Health Savings Accounts have been abolished, and this saddens me.
To participate in a healthcare sharing ministry, we must forfeit our ability to contribute to our HSA. This account allows you to save for healthcare bills before taxes, and your money grows tax-free. We can no longer contribute to our HSA since we must have an approved high-deductible health insurance plan.
We’ve been able to save easily $50,000.
On the plus side, since joining Liberty HealthShare five years ago, we’ve saved well over $50,000 in healthcare costs. The reason I say that is because we have held a minimum of $500 every month, which works out to $6,000 per year or $30,000 over five years. A minimum of $10,000 each time we had a significant claim kept us from having to pay more than our out-of-pocket maximum with Liberty HealthShare’s out-of-pocket limit.
The $50,000-plus in savings we’ve collected over the years is well worth the inconvenience of utilizing a health sharing ministry.
If you’re in a similar scenario and don’t have employer-sponsored health insurance, I recommend looking into a sharing alternative. Though not ideal, healthcare sharing ministries are a viable option if you find yourself in the same situation as us.